"The adventure of five fifteen year old boys in Singapore: estranged to every social reference, except for that of appearance and close friendships, they live their lives distant from their families and school, passing their days in a complete state of indolence in the search of experiences, at times even physically painful (tattoos, piercing, wounds). Their imaginary is completely colonized by MTV, cartoons, electronic jingles, publicity and comics.
Interpreted by street-kids that belong to the group they represent, this audacious and disturbing first work by the twenty-six year old Royston Tan explores an adolescent world, dramatically marked by the conflictual under-culture and complete addiction to video clip and videogame aesthetics. The existential suburban hardship, compared to the bright "western" and "English speaking" metropolis, is consumed through moving and desperate dialogues inscribed in a progression of disturbing sequences, similar to short sketches that slowly reconstruct the relational, psychological and family dynamics of the five boys. A sincere and lyrical film but at the same time irreverent, scandalous and extreme, an expression of Singapore cinema, unknown and emerging.
(taken from the back of the box)"
This IS THE Singapore film to watch.
V. Seah | 12/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Believe it or not, this film is banned in Singapore. Not surprising at all given the rather tight and strict film censorship. I like to think that Singapore just doesn't want to be portrayed as a country that has gang and drugs related problems.
All actors are real life teenage gangsters. At the time of the release of this film, most of them were being investigated by police for gang and drug related incidents.
This is a film with a powerful message: Not everything in and out of Singapore is as "clean and green" as it appears to be. Dark, disturbing and yet at times hilarious, there hasn't been much similar films out of Singapore except for Eating Air (also about aimless teenagers in Singapore) and MeePok Man."
So kiasu lah.
Joseph Connolly | Not Singapore Anymore | 06/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a very interesting film. It is in fact NOT banned in Singapore. I saw this film while living there and it was quite a relief. Though the movie focuses on street hoodlums, the overall theme is the forgotten people of singapore who are not able to be doctors, lawyers or gahment (government) cronies. Students are streamlined at a very young age and a few bad tests mean your are lumped in with the dregs. This film shows what is happening in Singapore on a side that many sinagporeans are unaware of. 5 stars for boldness. The cinematography is tough (choppy) at parts and the story line jumps a bit...but it is still very compelling."
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 05/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride
"15" (Picture This Entertainment) is a dark movie as it relates the adventures of five 15 year old boys in a part of Singapore that the world knows little if anything about. The actors are not actors at all but kids from the street and this disturbing movie looks at world where the kids are video adducts. Told with an alarming visual style all of its own, we see the brutality of youth which has been tempered by video clips and games. We see the seedy underside of Singapore and the issues f the youth of the country as they come of age. They are rebellious, use drugs, fight, and curse and exhibit all of the signs of "bad boys". This is quite a different picture of Asian youth. We are usually of the belief that Asians are respectful and are what we generally call "good kids". Our characters are very subtlety gay as can see by the loyalty they share for each other. The bond they share may come from a subconscious gay tendency within them. Be that as it may, the reality of Singapore is what we see and t is not pretty. There is no real story here; it is more of a documentary about three young Singaporeans who play hooky from school and spend their times running with gangs and doing all the things that kids are not supposed to do. They think they are hard characters ad let us know it. Filmed in choppy photography, the dialog is somewhat hard to understand but you really do not need it. There is enough to deal with visually and it is somewhat upsetting to watch. "
Teens Playing Teens
Michael Kerjman | 05/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A touching story staged by teens about teens for not-teens - with Singaporean-created movies especially, a rarely provided glimpse into an adolescent underworld well sustaining even South-Eastern Asian Mafia activities in sex industry and drug trafficking having in this region been the most strictly punishable crime.
15y.o. boys enter a life, unconsciously following natural urges sexuality tricks in, while exploring drugs and relations with each other and surrounding environment. "